We are a short month away from the 2020 election. I keep hearing people say that they can’t wait until it is over so we can go back to normal and some of the social unrest we feel dissipates. I used to say that myself, until I realized that what we are experiencing is the new norm. It’s not going away. At least not anytime soon. And, it certainly won’t if we as Americans don’t start working to heal the wounds we have inflicted on each other.
I ran across Arthur Brooks’ book, Love Your Enemies, last year and immediately resonated with much of what he had to say. Brooks’, a conservative, brings to light our culture of contempt, the ways we have dehumanized and villainized those that don’t agree with our perspective, and the ways we have been manipulated into thinking disagreement equates hate speech or deviance. Better yet, Brooks’ provides a solid set of ways that we can bridge differences, including finding and engaging people who think and believe very differently than you in conversations. Find out what they value, how they think, and what moves them. Say no to seeing others as villains or evil and learn how to disagree with grace.
While you can tell that Brooks’ writes from a conservative perspective, I trust that even if you have liberal leanings, you will be uplifted by the hopefulness expressed in this book. I hope you will be impassioned to do what you can to change the way you engage others, even if only in your own circle. My fellow Americans, the time has come for us to reengage our relationships and find common ground from which to build a new future.
We would love to hear your thoughts about the book or other materials related to this topic!
Contributed by Liz
Brooks, A.C. (2019). Love your enemies: How decent people can save America from a culture of contempt. New York, NY: Broadside Books.